TJ Lavin BMX accident reinforces need for safety

Oct 15, 2010 at 6:53 p.m. ET

Professional BMX rider TJ Lavin is in a coma after a serious accident Friday in Las Vegas. What sort of safety gear does your child need to help minimize risk of injury in BMX crashes?

TJ Levin BMX accident reinforces need for bike safety

Professional BMX rider and MTV reality show host TJ Lavin is in a medically-induced coma in a Las Vegas hospital after an accident.

The Real World/Road Rules Challenge host was riding in a Dew Tour event when he slammed his bike into a dirt ramp, slamming him into the ground. The pro BMX rider was then rushed to the hospital and placed into a coma to reduce swelling on his brain.

Even Pros Have Accidents

The 34-year-old Lavin has raced BMX bikes for nearly 20 years. He turned pro at 19, leading him to wins in various X Games competitions. Lavin knows how to ride and how to protect himself, but that didn't help him avoid an accident.

Accidents can happen to anyone -- this is why parents must do their part to keep their kids safe on BMX bikes, skateboards and any other self-powered machine.

It's vital that you purchase the proper gear to ensure your teen's safety when riding BMX bikes outdoors -- but, what gear should you get?


Using a helmet is a vital -- and legally required -- protection tool. Helmets should be fitted to your teen's head and fit snuggly. At the very least, a BMX helmet should fit around the top of the head, though many riders are now opting for full helmets to protect both the head and neck in case of an accident.

Knee and Elbow Pads

It's naturally to try and break a fall with the elbows or knees. Many times, this action leads to broken or sprained bones and road rash. Pads designed specifically for BMX riders can help your teen avoid serious injury in a crash.

BMX Apparel

BMX apparel isn't only there to pad the bank accounts of manufacturers – it serves a purpose. Specially-designed BMX apparel will help your rider avoid road rash in case of an accident. T-shirts and jeans just don't offer the same amount of protection. At the very least, make sure your child has specially-fitted BMX gloves and closed-toed shoes (think sneakers or biking shoes.)

Sound off: What safety gear do you require your children to wear when riding outdoors?

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